Vietnam is the world’s second largest producer and exporter of coffee, with over 500,000 farm households growing the crop. Coffee is important to Vietnam as it is the second largest agricultural export product with a yearly value of over US$ 3 billion. The bulk of coffee is produced in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, of which 55% is covered in forest – the highest percentage in all of Vietnam. The area is vital for producing some of the country’s key agricultural and forestry commodities including coffee, rubber, cashew and cacao. Approximately 95% of the total coffee growing area is cultivated by smallholders and 30% of coffee growers in the area belong to ethnic minority groups. Despite the income from coffee, this area is still one of the poorest regions in Vietnam, with almost double the national average poverty rate. While they do take part in the coffee industry, the indigenous ethnic minorities lack access to resources, information, secure land rights and education.
Of the 400,000 farm households growing coffee in the Central Highlands, 95% are smallholders growing coffee as a monocrop. With growing coffee (Robusta), water is essential to obtain high yields and in the central highlands, there is a large store of underground water. Still, uneven distribution throughout the year means that coffee requires irrigation to achieve these high yields and so the area is extremely over-irrigated. Further impacts of climate change such as increasing dry seasons and the lack of the information on proper irrigation management in the Central Highlands have resulted in declining coffee production.
Through this project, we plan to provide an information service that supports 100,000 coffee farmers increase their production, income and food security, while at the same time reducing their inputs of water, fertilizers and pesticides in the Central Highlands (Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Lam Dong provinces). These information services include: a Crop Calendar via SMS, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) via Mobile App, as well as Market Information via SMS and Mobile App.
NETHERLANDS SPACE OFFICE (NSO) AND THE G4AW PROGRAM
This project is funded by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) and is one of 17 Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) projects worldwide. Follow the links to their websites below for more information about NSO and the G4AW program.